We’ve spent more than 250 nights in Airbnb as a family. We wrote about ‘The 17 most annoying types of Airbnb hosts’. But we keep using Airbnb for many good reasons. In fact, we’d go so far as to say Airbnb has enabled us to change we travel for the better.
We’ve shared 10 reasons why we like to use Airbnb for our family travel adventures below. Confession: we’re posting this while staying in a particularly special Airbnb flat. If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, sign up via our link and get $20 off your next adventure.
11 reasons to use Airbnb for family travel
1. Airbnb offers unparalleled access to living like a local in a neighbourhood or region with soul. You can choose to stay in the special pockets of a city: the new cool neighborhood, the historic district, the artsy neighborhood, the student neighborhood, the family neighbourhood, the gay neighbourhood, the posh neighborhood, and so on.
You live authentic daily life, with all the perks that make the location unique: independent shops, restaurants, markets, playgrounds, street art, galleries, and a community of residents. In short, you get culture.
On the contrary, most hotels are in soulless central areas by chain restaurants, big box stores, and convention centres, or out in the boonies by strip malls and airports.
2. The network of Airbnb parents with baby gear and insider tips on family friendly activities.
3. Dining and shopping intel from the hosts. They always promote independent shops, and they know all the new spots before they make it into a travel guidebook or article. The hosts that are also avid travelers often make little guidebooks of their favourites for you!
4. More space for less money. No explanation necessary.
5. Truly special properties. Canal house boats, treehouses, light houses castles… It’s all true, and it’s worth trying. We have!
6. The surprise welcome gift: home-baked bread and preserves in Brooklyn, stroopwafels and brown beer in Amsterdam, rose wine and calissons in Aix-en-Provence, champagne and a breakfast feast in Sweden, Prosecco in Rome, and more.
7. The humanity. You always get funny little notes about windows that stick and fridge doors that need an extra shove. These remind you that we all deal with the same small stuff.
8. The simultaneously kindred and creepy feeling. For example, when you browse their bookshelf and find 10 books you own and five things you’ve always wanted to read.
9. The unexpected knowledge that comes from living like a local: the best butcher shop, how Dutch moms store their strollers in apartment buildings, inner courtyard apartment playgrounds in Copenhagen, which day is market day in fall in the Loire, impromptu harvest festivals listed only by flyer in Beaujolais villages…
10. Kitchens for cooking. We love browning markets and grocery stores for local inputs.
When we go on long travels, we don’t eat out for every meal.
11. Design inspiration. We love learning from hosts who really love their space, and have made it beautiful.
Have you stayed in Airbnb homes with your kids? Wold you do it again? Why or why not?
Lead image: Premshree Pillai